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Yes, but the child's wishes are not the last word on the matter.The custody preferences of mature children are given considerable weight when they are based on sound reasoning, especially where the reasons relate to the child's best interests, such as a desire to remain with friends, to continue attending the same school, and to remain in the same environment.(Jurisdiction refers to the court's legal right to make binding decisions involving the parties to a lawsuit.) Among other things, the UCCJEA determines which state is the child's "home state" for custody matters.Courts in the home state have jurisdiction over custody litigation involving that child -- and the courts of the child's home state are the only ones that can hear a custody case for that child.(Illinois law defines abuse as physical abuse, harassment, intimidation of a dependent, interference with personal liberty, or willful deprivation; the law expressly states that a parent's "reasonable direction" of a minor child does not constitute abuse.) However, the law doesn't require a court to deny a parent custody based on this ground alone.
A parent's fitness is one element to be considered in determining what is in a child's best interest.These are factors to be considered by the court in deciding the best interests of the child.For example, if a parent has a significant, long-standing, and pervasive history of bizarre behavior and ideas not merely related to the stress of the divorce, and these would have an adverse effect on the children and the parent's ability to care for them, a court may appropriately decide that the children's best interests are served by granting custody to the other parent.For more information about divorce in Illinois, see our Illinois Divorce and Family Law page.For all of our articles on custody issues, see Child Custody.